Why I love Craft Shows!

 In Art Journal, Art supplies, Art Travels, Creativity


My artwork and my new 'short' hair a t the Sydney Craft Show

Angus and I have just had three fab days at the Brisbane Scrapbooking and Papercrafts Show followed with only a day’s space by the Sydney Craft and Quilt show.  All this hard on the heels of the Perth craft show. It’s been a pretty tight schedule!
We offer Crafters a step into ‘Art’. Let me just define that a little…. Most of what is on display at a craft show offers packages, layouts, sets and kits for ‘ easy projects’. Whether it be card making, quilting, scrapbooking, knitting etc etc and this paint-by-numbers approach seems to take any danger of actual ‘creativity’ safely out of the way!

Sydney Craft Show - Photo by Lisa Oxley

For me, ”Art” is something that comes from within, rather than piecing together elements you have purchased as per someone else’s instructions. It’s not meant to be perfect, smooth, neat, tidy and too easy! ArtWORK has the clue built right in there… I’m not saying that art has to be a struggle, but it does need to come from you,  and show your individuality and uniqueness.
You may agree with me or not, but what is important is that many , many, many people are feeling the need to put more of ‘Themselves’ into their work, and allow stamps, stickers, rubons,  papers and stencils etc etc to become elements, not the major focus. The people I speak to are tired of layout rules and are ready to unleash their creativity and enter the world of ‘Mixed Media’! ( which basically means ; anything goes!)

My Journals at the Sydney Craft Show - photo by Lisa Oxley

At each show I am doing demonstrations at my stand on what Art Journaling is, showing my Art Journals, talking about how I teach people to draw in my online classes and how I use the art supplies I love most.  Basically, I get to create all day and chat with like minded people. Some  are already on their creative path and ready for a little boost, some who have felt their creative beast stirring and are ready to wake it up and fully get moving, and then there are the people who are fellow art supply junkies and would just like to learn to use their stash!
Many people can hardly speak as they watch me creating, jaw dropped open, whispery ooohs and aaaahs issuing occasionally… Drawing and swirling paint does look absolutely magic, especially if you haven’t done it since childhood. Some people want to grab the paintbrush and pencils out of my hands and sit on the floor and join in straight away!
At some of the shows, I do live drawing and painting demonstrations on stage. I don’t even get nervous anymore, there’s no time! I had to laugh at the Brisbane show though, as the microphone was handheld (usually its a headset – so hands free!). So for a start I felt like I was doing Karaoke all the time… but just try talking into a mike and painting with one hand… I didn’t realise how much I use both my hands to paint! I had great audiences twice a day throughout the show, and we all had a laugh!

Drawing on Stage at the Brisbane Papercrafting Show - Photo Lisa Hayes

Craft shows are a chance for me to see all the latest and greatest products, discover new ways of using them and get burning questions answered! There are classes, demonstrations and talks going on everywhere. I always do a bit of shopping at each show taking advantage of show specials!
At the Brisneyland and Sydney shows , we had Tim Holtz from Ranger Ink . His presence caused a lot of excitement for everyone!

Tim Holtz and moi : at the Ranger Ink training day in Sydney

I got to meet him at a special Ranger training day in Sydney. He was such a wonderful teacher and a real entertainer. I learned so much and the day flew by in a whirl of ink, laughs and omg…glitter!

Yes, I used glitter.
Well, it’s a glimmer really. I think I may become a glimmer girl… I’m not sure how long that will last, but as I’m into drawing fairies and mermaids mode for Joynal, the shimmer element seems to be a natural thing. And the rock candy distress stickles and Perfect Pearl Mists are TO DIE FOR. How did I not know about their awesomeness? I just adore arty people who love to share their knowledge!

Tags I made during the Tim training day - inky fun!!!

The point of my stand is we only offer the supplies that I need to live and breath. I have limited space, and I only have room for the BESTof the best. The most versatile, innovative art products for Art Journals. There is so much choice out there, and I have taken it upon myself to gather just about everything to try it, test it and judge it for my own purposes.
In my online classes,  my students get a front row seat as to what are my favourite supplies. The things I am reaching for. Things I KNOW are so awesome that I can’t keep my mitts off ‘Em! These are the things that find their way to the Shows with me.
Which brings me to the last and most important point of why I love Craft shows. I get to connect with my students. Both present and future. I ADORE meeting my existing students- it lights me up inside, especially when they bring their journals with them. Seeing artwork in the ‘flesh’ that I have loved and admired online is exhilarating! Especially when I have seen the trials and flourishings to get it to that point.  Sometimes the journals are a surprise from students too shy to post their work. I love seeing any form of creative endeavour!
The Craft Shows are a lot of work, are very expensive and take me away from home and my fur babies, but the benefits they bring to me personally, make me love them!
The next ones are :
(There’s a little Calendar thingy in the sidebar if you ever want to check where I am popping up next!)
p.s. I had about 30cm cut off  the length of my hair  few weeks ago – yikes!!! I am used to my much healthier hair now, but I did feel shorn for about a week!
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Showing 20 comments
  • Amanda

    It was lovely to meet you in Brisbane. I am one of the folks that went ooh and ahh and was grabbing at supplies. Hope to see you in class soon.

  • Kerry Kelly

    have just signed up for the supplies me classes am so excited

  • Coral

    Hi Jane,

    I really like your thoughts on kits – I think this is where the difference is between “art” and “craft”. I know many stampers who have to have the exact stamps and inks as a project they see in a magazine, or they feel they can’t do the project. I have always taken inspiration from others artwork and my artwork always looks very different than the artwork I took the inspiration from.

    It was so nice to see your journals in person after seeing them on You Tube at the Brisbane Craft Show. I am a new subscriber to your newsletter and am excited to learn more about you and your art. xo

  • Susie Jefferson

    I’m having a drink on you, thanks so much! And very much looking forward to this – and relieved it’s also an ‘own time’ class, as our hours are so different (I’m in the UK). Although I’m a bit of a night person, so you never know…

    Re the moving, yes done that too. My theory is that you get more done when you’re super busy (all that adrenaline) whereas in quiet times, you kind of collapse in a big heap in front of the TV! Have a great weekend and Happy Birthday.

  • rosemary farrell

    Thanks Jane for all your help at the Brissy Craft Show. I only came to learn from u and Tim both of you are very gracious.
    Loking forward to Supplies Me.
    Love your new hairdo,elegant & did u say it was your birthday If Happy BIrthday to u. Cheers Rosemary Farrell

  • Marilyn

    Remind me never never to come to a craft show – I’d may as well leave my credit card at one end of your table and then get the empty version of it at the other end!!!! Supplies will break me one of these days!!!!

  • Kirsten Alicia

    You AND Tim in the same room?? That would be crafty, arty heaven for me!! Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  • Louise Nicdao

    Hi Jane, I’m so excited you will be at the Melbourne show, it always falls on or around my birthday so it’s my present to myself every year and I don’t have to feel bad about buying lots of stuff, lol! I’ve been thinking about buying some more of the Ceramcoat paints, I love them – will you be bringing some to the Melbourne show?

    • Jane Davenport

      I sure will Louise! – plus lots of DELISH colours we don’t have on the website – PLUS Stewart Gill paint from Scotland – all the lovely Mermaid colours – be quick for those!

  • Natalie Spence

    Last time I went to a paper craft show in Adelaide, I walked in the door and straight into Violette Carkes “Journal Bliss Book”. I imediately found a quiet corner and set up camp with the book, my journal and my coloured pencils. I sat there for so long chatting to anyone that came my way. As I came out of my journal, drowling with ideas I realised that I was going to have to return the next day as I didn’t have time to see all that was to be seen. Rule 1 now. Look first, play later. hehehe

  • DianneT

    Hi Jane, when I click on the Melbourne show link it says it is in October not July, can you verify the correct date please

  • Belinda Lindhardt

    ooh Yes come to Newcastle! i will meet you there too!!! 🙂

  • Gutsy Arts Harmony

    I just love reading your posts. Even if I don’t have time to read any of the others, I jump on yours right away. Are you intending any classes for the rest of the year in US? I think I need to get you to Canada for 2013. Simply put – if for no one else – then me. But…I would have a room full!

    • Jane Davenport

      Yay! Lets do it Harmony!! i would love to have a class in Canada! When I know what 2013 is going to look like, we can get more ideas happening! xoxox

  • Chrystie Hile

    Please, please, please confirm the Newcastle Craft Show, would love to see you there again! I Love your workshop’s especially Supplies Me…hmmm but my bank balance doesn’t, I have lots of supplies now. Will you have some art supplies on sale if you come?

  • Lucy

    I’m going to Sydney in August, but it’s likely I’ll miss your event again…

  • Jane Davenport

    Oh Lynne! Well, next time, you will just have to push through!

  • Lynne

    Susan and I (both students of yours – she in the beginner class, I’m in Supplies Me) saw you at the craft show but didn’t get a chance to say hi due to the crowds around you! You looked like you were having fun! Next year we are going on two days so we can see more, absorb more and interact more!

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